There is a bill board put up by Yahoo! on MG Road. It says "come watch a finger, silence a nation". They mean an umpiring decision against the host nation. I just think its the middle finger. Even Dhoni said yesterday that his team shouldn't give a damn about the Indian fans.
I'm listing 10 reasons why you deserve the finger.
1. You are just not interested in cricket, but only in India playing it. And that too only on TV. Even Mint front page says so. Tata Sky has a channel with just Indian cricket. The poor 500 rupee cricket fans have to either get lathicharged or like me, miss the Protea-England game in Chennai becos you don't sell tickets legally. The Proteas were so agitated about my absence, that they lost the game.
2. When was the last time, the Indian team did anything to develop cricket in one of the associate nations? Why not visit or host Afghanistan, UAE, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, US, Nepal, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Singapore (my cousin plays for their under-something national team and went on a tour of Australia)?
Forget the money. They have enough or ICC gives them $300 million a year. Why not come play? Even football superstars come to Kolkata to promote the game in India. Lanka played a series in the US, although sadly against NZ. And even by your narrow nationalistic mindset, most of the associate nations have players of Indian origin. Why not help them?
3. Why didn't you have cricket included in the Commonwealth Games. Hell, you hosted it with my tax money. Do you know which country sent a full team to the previous CWG in Malaysia? South Africa. Australia won it. You guys sent half a team while the other was in mass nationalist orgy in Toronto playing Pakistan. (no, that had nothing to do with promoting cricket in Canada. their team was playing in Malaysia!).
4. Why Adam Gilchrist et al are the ones pleading to make cricket an Olympic sport? They get bucket loads of medals at the Olympics. How many do you Indians get? Oh, you don't even want cricket included in the Asian Games where you finished 5th or something. You were watching the BCCI XI play New Zealand, while a dozen countries were playing for Asian cricket glory in China.
5. How is it that you allow a franchise owner (Srinivasan) to be the VP and Prez-elect of the BCCI? Is something like 'conflict of interest' too complex to understand? Have you watched Nero's Guests, a documentary on farmer suicides in Vidharbha? Why do I get the feeling that Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is the Nero, playing board room cricket and you are among the guests? btw prisoners were burnt alive at the stake to provide lighting for Nero and his guests.
6. Why do you turn a blind eye to unacceptable behavior by your players. Sachin tried to cheat a poor country of millions of rupees in customs duty. The customs officer who colluded with Sachin now owns the Kochi team. Harbhajan calls a fellow player monkey for his color and you people claim its just "maa ki", as if thats a very nice thing to say (Read my 'Racism for Dummies'). Do you think any other cricketing nation would have failed to discipline someone like Sreesanth?
7. How many balls are there in an over? 4? When was the last time you saw two consecutive TV replays of a wicket within 2 mins of it occurring? How much money do you pay for your cable or DTH operator? You call yourself a cricket fan when you don't even get to watch those important moments in the game? (Read my 'Jihad against Ad Terror').
8. Why do you hate Pakistani cricketers? How is it that the greatest cricket entertainers on the planet aren't welcome in IPL? Why shd they waste their lives for few thousand pounds dished out by Indian bookies?
Pakistan were co-hosts of this world cup. They gracefully accepted that their country was unsafe and let go of the opportunity. Lankan players were attacked with machine guns in Lahore, few got injured and its Lanka which is hosting Pakistan now! Thats what cricket is for. Camaraderie and friendship. Not to promote one of the most vulgar human emotions, "patriotism".
9. What did you do when a free market initiative to promote cricket in India, namely the ICL, was destroyed by the BCCI? The lovely Pakistanis sent their best players in a generation to play in ICL. Two of the greatest New Zealand players (Bond, Cairns) retired from amateur cricket to play ICL. You destroyed it. (Read my 'Checklist for Subash Chandra').
10. How do you support the Mumbai Immigrants team which doesn't include Marathis and Mumbaikars (other than Sachin who thinks Mumbai belongs to Biharis)? No charity considering Mumbai, its catchement area, has the best Ranji team in the country. Why will you support Mallya's team who failed to retain Dale Steyn or any of the local players? Why should a promising young cricketer like Manish Pandey get 40 lakhs when non-entities are making millions in the auction?